Social Protection Ministry and OSHAG host Breast Cancer Sensitization seminar
GINA, GUYANA, Friday, October 28, 2016
The survival rate for patients at the Oncology Unit of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), has increased significantly over the years. General Medical Officer (GMO) at the Unit, Dr. Latoya Gooding, said this is due to government and non-governmental support.
The government in an effort to sensitize the public on cancer awareness collaborated with the Organization for Social Health Advancement in Guyana (OSHAG); a Non-Governmental Organisation, to host a Breast Cancer Sensitization seminar.
The seminar was held yesterday at the National Library. It was attended by First Lady Sandra Granger and representatives from the private and public sectors.
President of OSHAG, Carol Bagot, told the Government Information agency (GINA), that the seminar is very important since a number of persons still go to the United States with stages three and four cancer because of lack of knowledge.
“We feel the need to continue to sensitise and educate them in regards to
testing. How do you (do) self-examination? What do you do when you become of age and your breast tissues start changing and you feel that lump?” Bagot said.
Bagot emphasized the importance of knowing and not trying to self-medicate and treat yourself at home. She said that it is better to seek help in diagnosing the lump to ensure it is not breast cancer. “You just don’t take those lumps lightly and it’s not every lump that you find might be breast cancer but in order to prevent moving on to stages three and four we advise that you continue to do your self-examination every month after your period,” Bagot explained.
Meanwhile, Oncologist Surgeon in the United States of America, Dr. Theophilus Lewis, in his presentation said that one percent of breast cancers occur in males and therefore men should also not take it lightly. “Men usually get breast cancer at a high stage and the reason why is because there is not a lot of breast tissue for the cancer to grow so it either grows out of their skins or backward into their muscles and both constitutes a high stage breast cancer,” Dr. Lewis said.
Dr. Lewis further explained that the death rate from breast cancer dropped significantly. He said that estrogen drives breast cancer and if one has breast has cancer, chances are it can develop in the other. “There is no chance that cutting off both of your breast can stop breast cancer, it can still happen,” he added.
Dr. Lewis pointed out that if one looks at the family history and genetics in terms of risk factors for breast cancer, most of the cancer is sporadic. “That how most cancers are, there are persons who have not had it in their family but we cannot find why they have it,” he said.
The seminar was held to create awareness and educate the public on how they can better prevent cancer and how persons can access cancer treatment at the GPHC if they are diagnosed with cancer.
By: Ranetta LaFleur